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This chapter is from the book

1.7 Programming Environments for Parallel and Distributed Programming

The most common environments for parallel and distributed programming are clusters, MPPs, and SMP computers.

Clusters are collections of two or more computers that are networked together to provide a single, logical system. The group of computers appear to the application as a single virtual computer. MPP (Massively Parallel Processors) is a single computer that has hundreds of processors. SMP (Symmetric Multiprocessing) is a single system that has processors that are tightly coupled where the processors share memory and the data path. SMP processors share the resources and are all controlled by a single operating system. This book provides a gentle introduction to parallel and distributed programming, therefore we focus our attention on small clusters of 8 to 32 processors and on multiprocessor machines with 2 to 4 processors. Although many of the techniques we discuss can be used in MPP environments or in large SMP environments, our primary attention is on moderate systems.

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